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WTO discussion gets underway at Doha

Mar '07
The Doha negotiations of World Trade Organisation (WTO) will get underway beginning Friday, with the US, India, the EU and Brazil gearing up for yet another round of discussions.

Bilateral talks will continue forward discussions which the countries had in London last week.

A US media report on Ms Schwab's statement about India being less pro-active contributor to ongoing negotiations, had caused some bitterness between India and the US.

Kamal Nath, Commerce & Industry Minister has left for Geneva on Thursday night to attend the Doha round and will be meeting his Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim to reinforce unity of G-20 group of developing countries.

The G-20 is a group of about 20 countries including Brazil, India, China, Argentina and Egypt jointly negotiating for a deal in agriculture.

The Minister will meet US trade representative Susan Schwab and Mr Amorim in Geneva and is likely to meet EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson.

Mr Kamal Nath not only wants to talk to Mr Amorim to discuss G-20's future moves in the negotiations, but also wants to clear the air with Schwab.

The Doha talks remained inconclusive in July last year key players including the US, the EU, India, Brazil and Australia were unable to arrive at consensus for liberalising trade in agriculture and industrial goods.

The US' refusal to commit lowering overall trade subsidies below level of $22 billioninitially offered by them was major cause of friction as G-20 group wants the US to lower subsidies to much lower levels

Subsidies paid by the US in 2006 were less than $11 billion.

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